Che Guevara is one of the legends that the world has produced. The man was well respected as a military theorist, author, and guerrilla leader, as well as for his passion for revolution. Although he is dead, Che Guevara quotes still inspire people today.
Guevara was born on the 14th of June, 1928, into a middle-class family of Spanish-Irish descent and leftist leanings. His nine-month journey while on hiatus from medical school changed his worldview.
Even though he is no more, his perspective about love and revolution motivates people to live better. Enjoy his sayings plus the Che Guevara photos with quotes shared.
Che Guevara quotes on love and revolution
The scholar was known for his words on revolution and love. He was also notable for opposing neocolonialism and imperialism as well as his attacks on foreign policies made by the United States, no wonder he has so many quotes on revolution.
Several quotes of the sage can be used to explain the relationship between love and revolution. Check out some of his sayings below:
- How easy it is to govern when one follows a system of consulting the will of the people and one holds as the only norm all the actions which contribute to the well being of the people.
- At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that a great feeling of love guides the true revolutionary. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.
- One must have a large dose of humanity, a large dose of a sense of justice and truth to avoid dogmatic extremes, cold scholasticism, or isolation from the masses. We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity is transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force.
- Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality in a revolutionary.
- Passion is needed for any great work, and for the revolution, passion and audacity are required in big doses.
Che Guevara revolution quotes
As he was an author of several books, including The Motorcycle Diaries: A Journey Around South America and Che Guevara Reader: Writings on Politics & Revolution, some of Che quotes are adapted from his books. The following sayings were culled from his books and speeches:
- To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary. These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail. This is a revolution! And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the paredón [execution wall].
- A petty concern with mere evidence is an antiquated and bourgeois feature of the capitalist legal system. We are revolutionaries. We convict from a revolutionary passion.
- The revolution is made by man, but man must forge his revolutionary spirit from day to day.
- Remember that the revolution is what is essential, and each one of us, alone, is worth nothing.
- Above all, try always to be able to feel deeply any injustice committed against any person in any part of the world. It is the most beautiful quality of a revolutionary.
- I knew that the moment the great governing spirit strikes the blow to divide all humanity into just two opposing factions, I would be on the side of the common people.
- The world must not only be interpreted, but it must also be transformed. Man ceases to be the slave and tool of his environment and converts himself into the architect of his own destiny.
What did Che Guevara believe in?
The guerrilla leader believed in the idea of Marxism-Leninism, and most of his speeches and writings are centred on it. He not only embraced its principles but also taught his followers the same. The following Che Guevara quotes give credence to what he stood for.
- The peasant must always be helped technically, economically, morally, and culturally. The guerrilla fighter will be a sort of guiding angel who has fallen into the zone, helping the poor always and bothering the rich as little as possible in the first phases of the war.
- The guerrilla fighters should be required to go to bed and get up at fixed hours. Games that have no social function and that hurt the morale of the troops and the consumption of alcoholic drinks should both be prohibited.
- It is unnecessary to say that Fidel Castro possesses the high qualities of a fighter and statesman: our path, our struggle, and our triumph we owed to his vision.
- It is important to emphasize that guerrilla warfare is a war of the masses, a war of the people. The guerrilla band is an armed nucleus, the fighting vanguard of the people. It draws its great force from the mass of the people themselves.
- The first commandment for every good explorer is that an expedition has two points: the point of departure and the point of arrival. If your intention is to make the second theoretical point coincide with the actual point of arrival, don't think about the means -- because the journey is a virtual space that finishes when it finishes, and there are as many means as there are different ways of 'finishing.' That is to say the means are endless.
- Every person has the truth in his heart. No matter how complicated his circumstances, no matter how others look at him from the outside, and no matter how deep or shallow the truth dwells in his heart, once his heart is pierced with a crystal needle, the truth will gush forth like a geyser.
- To execute a man, we don't need proof of his guilt. We only need proof that it's necessary to execute him. It's that simple.
- What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two — melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.
- I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ…. I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don't get nailed to a cross or any other place.
- I could become very rich in Guatemala but by the low method of ratifying my title, opening a clinic, and specialising in allergies. To do that would be the most horrible betrayal of the two 'I's' struggling inside me: the socialist and the traveller.
- And then many things became very clear... we learned perfectly that the life of a single human being is worth millions of times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.
- The feeling of revolt will grow stronger every day among the peoples subjected to various degrees of exploitation, and they will take up arms to gain by force the rights which reason alone has not won them.
- If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.
What things were Che Guevara against? He detested human cruelty and bloodshed. Social injustice, which was the order of the day then, motivated him to rise as a crusader for change. This made him appear as a rebel as he was not comfortable with the established order of things.
Although many of his sayings have been translated into various languages, the following Che Guevara quotes in English paint the picture of how desperate he was for revolution.
- Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men – how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom?
- We must carry the war into every corner the enemy happens to carry it: to his home, to his centers of entertainment, a total war. It is necessary to prevent him from having a moment of peace, a quiet moment outside his barracks, or even inside; we must attack him wherever he may be, make him feel like a cornered beast wherever he may move.
- Why does the guerrilla fighter fight? We must come to the inevitable conclusion that the guerrilla fighter is a social reformer, that he takes up arms responding to the angry protest of the people against their oppressors, and that he fights in order to change the social system that keeps all his unarmed brothers in ignominy and misery.
- I don't know if the Cuban revolution will survive or not. It's difficult to say. But [if it doesn’t] . . . don't come looking for me among the refugees in the embassies. I've had that experience, and I'm not ever going to repeat it. I will go out with a machine gun in my hand, to the barricades... I'll keep fighting to the end.
- Hatred is an element of struggle; relentless hatred of the enemy that impels us over and beyond the natural limitations of man and transforms us into effective, violent, selective, and cold killing machines. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy.
- My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood…Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any surrendered enemy that falls in my hands! With the deaths of my enemies, I prepare my being for the sacred fight and join the triumphant proletariat with a bestial howl!
- I would probably have more in common with a whale than with a bourgeois married couple employed at worthy institutions that I would wipe from the face of the earth if it was given to me to do so.
- How could I, as an individual, Ernesto Guevara, accept the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa conferred by the School of Education since the only education I have imparted has been that of guerrilla camps, harsh words, and fierce example? And I believe such things certainly cannot be transformed into a cap and gown. That is why I continue to wear my Rebel Army uniform.
- We, practical revolutionaries, initiating our struggle, simply fulfill laws foreseen by Marx, the scientist. We are simply adjusting ourselves to the predictions of the scientific Marx as we travel this road of rebellion, struggling against the old structure of power, supporting ourselves in the people for the destruction of this structure, and having the happiness of these people as the basis of our struggle.
Che Guevara last words
Part of what Guevara is respected for is his courage in the face of death. His last words were brief but powerful. His last remarks when he was about to be killed were:
- I know you have come to kill me. Shoot, coward! You are only going to kill a man!
Che Guevara quotes are truly inspiring. Having someone like him pass through the sand of time is a blessing to humanity. Although he is long gone, his revolutionary works will certainly keep speaking.